Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

Scarlett and Rhett are without a doubt one of the most famous couples in literary (and movie) history.  But what about Rhett's side of the story?  Why isn't he accepted in polite society?  What's the deal with Belle?  How did he avoid fighting in the war?  This novel starts when Rhett is a young boy and gives you his background - how he came to abhor slavery, how he was disowned by his family, how he made his name, how he met Scarlett and courted her.  You learn about his motivation for doing certain things and how different events affected him.  The novel ends after Gone with the Wind so you get a little more of the story after that famous line: Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.  

Margaret Mitchell's estate authorized McCaig's novel (unlike the other Gone with the Wind sequel - Scarlett) and I thought the novel blended well with Gone with the Wind.  McCaig understood the original characters well and his new characters fit perfectly - providing good insight and balance.  Overall, this was an entertaining read and I'm glad I finally got around to it.  But if you aren't big on Gone with the Wind, this might not be the book for you.

Read: January 2012 via CD from the library

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